SC upholds DU Bangla department's notice

The High Court buildingFile photo

The Appellate Division on Monday stayed the High Court order that had suspended the effectiveness of a notice of Dhaka University’s Bangla Department asking its female students' to keep their ears and faces visible during examinations and presentations.

A three-member bench of the Appellate Division, led by justice Md Nuruzzaman, passed the order.

It also asked the High Court to dispose of the rule regarding the issue within two months.

Barrister Belayet Hossain stood for the petitioner while attorney general Abu Mohammad Amin Uddin represented the DU.

On 11 December, the Bangla Department of Dhaka University issued a notice that said that as per the decision of the Academic Committee of the Bangla Department, held on 18 September, the students of the department must keep their faces and ears open during their tutorial/presentation, mid-term, final examinations and viva voce for their identification.

Those who will not follow the order, action will be taken against them as per the university rules, it said.

On 20 February, a writ petition was filed at the HC challenging the legality of the notice to keep all female students' ears and faces visible. Education secretary, vice-chancellor of Dhaka University, registrar and chairman of Bangla Department were made respondents to the writ.

The writ petition also sought issuance of a rule asking the authorities concerned to explain as to why the notice should not be declared illegal and why directives should not be given not to obstruct the Muslim female students from abiding by the religious norms.

It also sought a stay order on the effectiveness of the notice issued by DU.

On 28 March, the High Court stayed for six months the effectiveness of the notice. Following HC order, the DU authorities filed a petition challenging the HC order.